Blog Archives

Something More: Less Game More Life, Ranma Devalues Akane, and Good Samaritan Art Online

This week was full of great articles about spirituality – many, as usual, about Christianity, but note the first link below, from academic and frequent convention panelist, Charles Dunbar, which focuses on Shinto and Buddhist traditions.

Charles Dunbar investigates A Letter to Momo and discusses the spiritual idea of our loved ones watching over us after death. [Study of Anime]

Frank sees Seishuu’s actions and thoughts as an example of pride, humility, and fear in episodes three and four of Barakamon. [A Series of Miracles]

Michael looks at No Game, No Life and takes a Christian perspective with gaming addiction. [Gaming and God]

He also examines the idea of doing ministry at conventions. [2]

Annalyn digs into Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet and the reason why human life is valuable. [Annalyn's Thoughts]

She also looks specifically at the beauty of women in her essay on Akane from Ranma 1/2. [2]

Rob continues is Christian-centered anime reviews, looking at the idea of forgiveness in Sword Art Online II, episode four. [Christian Anime Review]

He also draws a really neat parallel to the Christian idea of helping others in episode four of SAO II. [2]

Medieval Otaku digs into the complex question of the morality of Kisara’s vengeance in Black Bullet. [Medieval Otaku]

And finally, Josh presents a little baptismal humor involving Sailor Moon. [Res Studiorum et Ludorum]

As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included.  Thanks this week to Don for pointing me toward Josh’s post!

Something More: Butt Attack Punisher Christian Magical Girl

Spiritual-related posts have been sparse the last few weeks, and it’s the same for this one as well, but I do have a few interesting articles to link you to.

D.M. Dutcher laments the lack of entertainment written for Christians, though he saw a glimpse of what might have been in a few scenes of Butt Attack Punisher Girl Gautaman. That was before it all went downhill.  Here’s his description of that OVA’s plot [Cacao, put down the shovel!]:

Mari is a Christian who is about to attend the Perfect Religion Academy, a place where the religious members of tomorrow are trained. She befriends Saori, a Hindu girl who becomes her roomate. Unfortunately she gets kidnapped by the evil Black Buddha cult, and there’s only one way she can get her back.

As she prays for help, none other than Buddha appears. He gives her a sacred sumo belt that turns her into said Gautaman. Now she has to use her butt to defeat the evil Black Buddha cult, the members of which include an evil newspaper deliveryman, a sumo wrestler wearing a Darth Vader mask, six very ugly freshmen, a panty-exposing samurai, and more…

Rob’s compares the love of Livius and Nike have for each other in The World is Still Beautiful to that of Jesus for us, illustrating it with the parable of the lost sheep. [Christian Anime Review]

As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included. 

Something More: Anime Nuns, Childish Religion, and Bye, Bye, Brynhildr

Stinekey explores the depiction of nuns in geek culture. [Lady Geek Girl and Friends]

Lazarinth breaks away from his usual aniblogging to comment on why he feels religion is childish. [Fantasy and Anime]

Rob’s latest Christian-centric reviews includes those for recent episodes of Brynhidlr in the Darkness [1] (which he has decided to drop) and One Week Friends [2]. [Christian Anime Review]

As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included. 

Something More: Buddhist x Buddhist, Noragami Catholicism, and Manga in a Buddhist Temple

Our site is of course focused on finding Christian allusions and themes in anime, and oftentimes this article finds the same in other sites doing the same kind of work.  And so I’m glad that this week’s links provide a little more diversity when it comes to spiritual conversation and anime:

Annalyn explores Buddhist and other religious allusions in recent episodes of Hunter x Hunter. [Annalyn's Thoughts]

An exhibition of Buddhist art by manga artists is on display at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. [The Asahi Shimbun]

Medieval Otaku reposted an article from March in which iblessall outlines a Catholic viewing of Noragami. [Life, and Anime]

Rob continues his Christian-centric reviews, digging this week into Brynhildr in the Darkness [Christian Anime Review], The World Is Still Beautiful [2], and One Week Friends [3].

As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included. 

 

 

Guest Post – Contra Divitias: Kill la Kill’s Opprobrium of Wealth

Medieval Otaku is run by a bookworm inflamed with a desire for learning and for God.  The study of foreign cultures, literature, and history eventually led to him discovering anime, which hooked him with the remarkable richness and beauty of its stories and is likely to remain a strong hobby of his for decades to come.

Japes has already written a great article using Kill la Kill which dealt with whether money is the root of all evil. My own article will concentrate instead on how Kill la Kill shows that the mere possession of wealth often produces evil effects in the soul. Read Japes’s article, but ignore his opinion that Kill la Kill is “an amalgam of mediocrity.” Quelle opinion! When one sees all the rich and interesting blog posts driven off of this show, it hardly deserves the name mediocre! Call Kill la Kill frenetic, lewd, vulgar, perverse, ridiculous, or absurd. Say that it borrows and employs its ideas in a maladroit fashion. Call it bad if you want: Chrome Shelled Regios is mediocre, not Kill la Kill!

ryuto matoi

In any event, Kill la Kill’s main beef with wealth revolves around the fact that it produces isolation and pride. The Kiryuin family suffers from these two ills most acutely. Even the flashback to the beginning of Ragyo Kiryuin and Isshin Matoi’s early life together shows a lack of unity between the two. The two come together only for the sake of Ragyo profiting from his scientific ability and for the purpose of reproduction. (For the record, I do not know how any man could summon enough ardor to produce offspring with Ragyo.) Besides Ragyo’s lack of unity with her husband, she completely fails to notice that her own child conceives a murderous hatred for her!

satsuke kuryuin

Basically, each member of the family lives concerned only with their own things, except for Isshin and Ryuko Matoi who escape from the grip of both Ragyo and wealth. When Ragyo’s existence is first made known to us, the fact that Satsuki even has a mother comes as a surprise to the audience—Satsuki cares so little for her after all! On the Kiryuin side, all their relationships are those of utility rather than enjoyment; though, we now know that Satsuki truly loved her henchmen but needed to keep up the appearance of merely thinking of them as useful.

KLK

Contrast this to Mako’s family. Lacking wealth and the many diversions offered by its possession, they are all on intimate terms with one another. The force of intimacy is so strong that Ryuko even becomes absorbed into the family circle when she joins their household. Even the family’s strange enthusiasm for mystery meat and peeping Tom ways prove to be no barrier in forming these relationships.

Kill la kill family

Read the rest of this entry

Something More: Catholicism in Noragami, Wolf Children of God, and Bye, Bye, Animekritik!

D.M. Dutcher reviews Wolf Children and finds a parallel to the idea of Christians being “in the world, but not of it.” [Speculative Faith]

Rob continues his Christian reviews, closing out series like Golden Time [1] and Nobunagun [2], while reviewing new shows like Captain Earth [3].

Medieval Otaku gives his thoughts on Witch Craft Works and Noragami, including some Catholic connections in each. [Medieval Otaku]

Additionally, Medieval Otaku, who has guested here and whom we frequently feature in this column, is celebrating the two-year anniversary of his blog.  Go congratulate him! [Medieval Otaku]

Unfortunately, on the other end of the spectrum, animekritik is closing his blog [Kritik der Animationskraft].

We’ve included links to a number of his excellent articles in the past – including some of the following favorites:

(Real) Christianity in Anime

Japes, our Anime Today columnist, has written a number of articles about the intersection of Christianity and anime for his other blog, Japesland.  He is editing and resposting a number of these entries, including the one below, to Beneath the Tangles.

Several days ago I wrote a piece that I titled “(Superficial) Christianity in Anime“, but I realized after reading over it again that I seemed to come off with a rather negative view of Christian themes in anime. Now while I do believe the majority of depictions of Christianity in anime to be overall inaccurate, and even offensive (although when taken as a work of fiction and/or fantasy, I believe it to be less so), I felt that it was worth pointing of the positives that can be found in the medium. Now the title I’ve given to this post may prove to be somewhat misleading, as depictions of “Christianity” as it is often defined are not my focus, but rather depictions of spirituality (and even theology in a broader sense).

I would like to begin with some of the more obvious and move into the more subtle as we move along this (brief) post.

Rakka and RekiIf you read the aforementioned piece, then you are probably familiar with my positive take on the anime series, Haibane Renmei. Haibane Renmei is an amazing example of an anime that contains a number of Christian themes throughout it if one takes the time to analyze it. Disregarding the cherubic appearance of the haibane and instead focusing on the content of the story and dialogue, not only is a Christian faced with dealing with modern issues in Christian culture (something I find to be of less overall significance, but they are present nonetheless) such as the accepting church, but also the core doctrine of Christianity itself. “The circle of sin”, as The Communicator would say. The Haibane are trapped in their sinful states because they have done something wrong. When they accept this wrong (read: “sin”), they are inherently sinful, but when they declare themselves sinless, they are doing nothing but perpetuating the circle by sinning further. The only escape for this is to be forgiven by an external force.

SPOILERS

Read the rest of this entry

Something More: Biblical Names of Symphogear, Yura’s Unclean Cup, and Good Catholics in Anime

Cytrus gives a wonderfully in-depth analysis of character names in Symphogear, with a few relating to Jesus, Mary, and Eve. [Yaranakya]

Frank dives into Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3, examining, among other things, Yura’s Pharisaical actions. [A Series of Miracles]

Lady Geek girls talks Catholic, as in positive portrayals of Catholics in geek media.  The emphasis is mostly on other forms, but she does talk a bit about an example from Maoyu. [Lady Geek Girl and Friends]

Something More: Kenshin’s Journey Toward Mercy, Bad Catholics in Maoyu, and Dreams of a Christian Japan

This week has been full of great articles involving religion and spirituality!  Unfortunately, I may have missed a few – the move from Google Reader to Feedly has been largely snag free, until this week, when I found that their latest update has omitted the search feature.  RSS users beware.

Anyway, onto the articles!

Medieval Otaku posts his academic essay on how Kenshin’s journey in the first two OVA’s (Trust and Betrayal/Samurai X) parallel to St. Bonaventure’s steps leading to God in Journey of the Mind to God. [Medieval Otaku]

Lady Geek Girl has a real issue with how the Catholic Church is represented in some series and movies, and uses Maoyuu Maou Yuusha as an example. [Lady Geek Girl and Friends]

Justin notes an emphasis on religion in the Attack on Titan anime as compared to the manga. [Organization Anti-Social Geniuses]

Draggle draws connections between the act of a benediction and this week’s disturbing episode of Aku no Hana. [Draggle's Anime Blog]

Zeroe4 makes a distinction between his “calling to anime” and his dream for Japan. [Zeroe4]

D.M. Dutcher offers reviews of Another and Girls Und Panzer that are directed toward Christian viewers. [Cacao, put down the shovel!]

__

As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included. 

Habemus Papam! A Manga About Pope Benedict XVI

With Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden resignation on Monday, any good anime and manga fan would ask the natural question: Has anyone made a manga about Benedict XVI’s life?

The answer is, of course!

In all seriousness, a treatment of his life in manga format does exist.  Originally developed by Gabrielle Gniewek and Sean Lam as a 16-page one shot for World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain, Regina Doman expanded on Habemus Papam! with Lam to create a full-length original English language manga.  Doman even provides some insight into the process on the blog for Manga Hero, the company that creates and distributes this manga and other original series.

I have not read Habemus Papam!, but I have read Manga Hero’s other OEL releases.  The company has done the unlikely and created captivating and well-crafted series based on Catholic principles and Bible stories.  I’ve enjoyed all of their works, though Many Are Called stands out as a favorite.

If Habemus Papam! is anything like Manga Hero’s other works, it’s one that’s definitely worth your consideration – and it’s certainly a timely OEL manga to read in these days of significant activity in the Catholic world.